by Melanie Moreland
“The Addendum” is the third book in ‘The Contract’ series by Melanie Moreland. It’s written so that it could be read as standalone story, but I think it’s even more incredible if you’ve read ‘The Contract’, which documents the beginning of the relationship between the two of the lead characters in this story. I loved this book, but it’s tricky to write a review and not give away important pieces of the plot.
Richard VanRyan, and his wife Katy, have remained among my favorite characters from this author … and that’s really saying something because all the characters that she’s created have been wonderfully done. Richard was the quintessential cold-hearted playboy until the warm-hearted Katy thawed him out and unearthed the tender soul he never even knew was buried inside. Fast forward decades of a happy marriage and five children, and he’s finally retiring.
You likely noticed that I mentioned two of the lead characters in this story; that’s because there are really four lead characters. The other two are Ashley and Luc. Ashley grew up the only child of her beloved mother, who’d never been married. Her mother had been truthful with her about the flaws of Ashley’s father, describing him as cold and unfeeling. After her mother died six years ago, Ashley was alone in the world. She focused her energies even more intensely than ever on growing her successful career. She excelled as an event planner. It was at an event she planned that she met Luc. Describing Luc’s childhood as having been tough would be a complete understatement. However, he became the best of friends with Reed, who in turn became the long-time boyfriend of one of Richard’s daughters. Over the years, Luc has become part of the extended family made-up of the VanRyans and the other families with whom they’re closely linked. Luc invites Ashley to be his date for the wedding, and for the surprise retirement party for Richard. None of them know this is going to be the catalyst for complete chaos.
There are a lot of complicated feelings in this story and the author does an incredible job conveying all of them. Balancing out the gut-wrenching emotions are the sweet and tender ones, and some hilarious scenes that will make you laugh out loud. We also get to see beautiful – and steamy – intimate scenes between couples at different stages and ages in life. Almost all of the secondary characters are ones you’ll recognize from both the BAM and ABC series by this author if you’ve had the pleasure of reading any of those yet. “The Addendum” put me through an emotional wringer, and I loved every second of it! And then there’s the epilogue … please, you just have to read it and share in the experience.